View Full Version : Non-stimulant ADHD Treatment help


lisag519
08-09-16, 10:17 PM
I am the mother of an 18 year old young man with OCD, anxiety and ADHD. We finally have the anxiety and OCD under control however he still reports that he cannot focus. He tried going back on Focalin, but it increased his anxiety and OCD. He then tried Strattera and that didn't agree with him either. He is currently taking Wellbuterin, but the dr said it may take 4-6 weeks for us to know if that works. I'm so concerned about my son going away to college without the ADHD under control. Has anyone here had the experience of not being able to tolerate stimulants? Just wondering what has worked. My son is getting increasingly frustrated and hates all of the side effects associated with trying out new medications.

spamspambacon
08-10-16, 09:41 AM
There are people on here who really know their stuff about meds. I am not one of them. :D

That being said, I LIKE trying new meds because to me, it's a new possibility that things will get better.

I'm on Straterra (I know your son tried it) and that works SOMEWHAT for me. I'd rather be on stimulants, but my doc refuses to prescribe stimulants.

I'm also on Wellbutrin for depression and I can't say what it does for ADHD, because it's only been 2 weeks.


I wish you both well...school can be exciting and he may do very well, given the flexible schedule you get at the university level.

ToneTone
08-10-16, 05:25 PM
Wow, your son is lucky to have you looking out for his wellbeing and ability to concentrate as he goes away to college.

I happen to teach college, and it is unfortunately SO EASY for me to notice the students with untreated ADHD. Had a kid like that last year ... He wasn't diagnosed, but I talked to him ... he had all the symptoms ... he ended up not coming to a lot of classes. I hope he eventually found a psychiatrist.


Did he have good focus on Focalin ... even though he had anxiety and ocd?

Is he on Wellbutrin for ADHD strictly?

I'm on Wellbutrin but for depression ... and I wouldn't tinker with it ... But if your son isn't on it for depression or another disorder but rather for ADHD, then you might can tinker ....

If he had concentration success on Focalin, and he's not on Wellbutrin for depression, you might consider dropping the Wellbutrin and trying out Focalin alone and see how the side effects are going that route.

Did he get on the lowest dosage of Focalin? ... Small dosage changes can make huge differences? ... So really, you want to keep track of dosages people are on ...

Alternately you can consider upping the Wellbutrin over time ... I know ... you don't feel like you have time ... In my experience, the effect of Wellbutrin happened much earlier than 4 to 6 weeks .... but that's me ...and going on the highest dosage gave me MUCH BETTER results than on the middle dosage.

If he indeed got focus help with Focalin, then I think you can look for another methylphenidate medication ... even though these meds are all in the same family, people react very different to them ... And the side effects can be very different from med to med. So you might try Concerta in place of focalin or generic ritalin or a variation ... Again, technically same family of meds, but whether it's the mechanism by which our bodies absorb them or the filler (non-active ingredients), people react very differently to what are technically very similar medications.

Really, there is no substitute for trial-and-error. I wish I could tell you differently. The med profession hasn't figured out who responds well to what medication ... So most of us have to go through and try different ones until we get to an optimum treatment ... and even then some of us are suspicious that the med we haven't tried might be even better.

The other stimulant family is the amphetamines salts ... Vyvanse, Adderall, Dexedrine, etc ... I'm current on Adderall XL and find it very effective in terms of giving me energy to get up and do these and carry out tasks ... You might try that route ... and see if you have any success ...


I can give you this advice, but frankly, I have found there is no substitute for a really smart, really open-minded psychiatrist. Excellent psychiatrists love solving the challenge you're posing here. The mediocre ones, not so much, but the really good ones--they love the process of finding the right combo of meds for the particular patient. So a great step to take is to make sure he is going to an excellent psychiatrist. Really general practitioners are guessing at this ...

Tone

caretothepeople
08-11-16, 10:54 AM
There's been some helpful comments so far, and just wanted to add that since you mentioned your son is going off to college it might be helpful to look into what type of ADD support services are offered at the school via Student Health Services or Counseling Services. They could get him linked up with a doctor or specialist there so he can hit the ground running and have the medical and emotional support at school that he needs.

Something else is that some schools have an Office of Accessibility that works with students who have attention issues where he can request accommodations for testing like extra time. Just a thought to make the transition a little easier on him..

sarahsweets
08-17-16, 02:43 AM
My son was medicated from age 4-16, at 16 he said he wasnt able to tolerate the meds anymore. He is 20 now and in college and has resumed treatment for depression-not necessarily the adhd so he is also on wellbutrin. I am hoping one day he will be able to handle stimulants again because they were good for him.
My 16 year old daughter was only able to tolerate meds from about age 11 until 8th grade and didnt like how they made her feel anymore.
My 13 year old could never tolerate stimulants. She has alot of quirky types of obssesive-like behaviors, depression, anxiety and adhd. The stimulants for now, arent good for her.

It could be the class of drugs- my son was always and amphetamine kid, my daughter methylphenidate (same class has focalin).Its worth trying different types.

lisag519
12-01-16, 10:06 AM
My son is almost finished with his first semester. He is doing well but feels that focusing is an issue and thinks he would be even better if properly medicated. We did find a doctor near his college, but she hasn't been able to help him yet. They have tried raising the dose of Wellbuterin, but the higher doses make him more anxious. He is on Intuniv but that isn't helping for the ADHD either. Clonidine made him sleepy. Focalin did work for him as far as focusing, but it made his anxiety and OCD bad enough that he had to stop taking it. It's such a frustrating situation. :(

sarahsweets
12-01-16, 10:17 AM
My son is almost finished with his first semester. He is doing well but feels that focusing is an issue and thinks he would be even better if properly medicated. We did find a doctor near his college, but she hasn't been able to help him yet. They have tried raising the dose of Wellbuterin, but the higher doses make him more anxious. He is on Intuniv but that isn't helping for the ADHD either. Clonidine made him sleepy. Focalin did work for him as far as focusing, but it made his anxiety and OCD bad enough that he had to stop taking it. It's such a frustrating situation. :(

I know with me, wellbutrin was very agitating especially at a higher dose. And the clonidine did nothing for me either. It could be that he cant tolerate anything from the methyphenidate family- (ritalin, focalin, concerta) and he needs to try amphetamines like adderall, vyvanse or dexedrine.
There is also a non-stimulant called Stratterra.
He may have better luck with a doctor close to his home or a family doctor as some college areas are very firm with stimulants due to abuse by college students.